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Lehtonen Feeling Better, but Will Miss at Least Two Games

by Mark Stepneski / Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars have placed goaltender Kari Lehtonen on injured reserve retroactive to October 11, meaning he will miss at least the next two games.

Lehtonen suffered a lower body injury late in the second period of Friday’s 4-1 victory in Winnipeg. He worked out on the ice today in Colorado and said he is making progress.

“It felt pretty good, better than I expected,” Lehtonen said. “Just some half speed things, some slides and moving around. Pretty good.”

“The workout went well, so I think we are looking at a short period of time,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “Hopefully by the end of the week he should be available to us.”

Lehtonen said he was injured in Friday’s game while stretching to handle a shot.

“There was one shot that went maybe one or two feet wide and I stretched out too much or something,” Lehtonen said. “Usually during the second period you are warm and you are not too worried about stretching. My leg kind of let go under me. I knew right away that something went wrong there. It didn’t feel too bad, that’s why I kept going for about five minutes. I was just trying to see if it gets better, but it didn’t. I think it was a good move to come off and not damage it more.”

Lehtonen has a history of groin injuries, some that kept him out for extended time. Lehtonen was asked if this injury was similar to the others.

“Yeah, just not as severe. The last times I wasn’t able to walk or anything like that,” Lehtonen said. “Now, a day later I am skating and making saves. That’s something that makes me more positive about it in a bad situation like this.”

Lehtonen will miss Tuesday’s game at Colorado and Thursday’s game against San Jose at American Airlines Center. He’ll be eligible to come off IR in time for Saturdays’ game in Los Angeles. He’d like to be ready by then, but time will tell.

“I’d like to see that happen, but it will depend on how the next couple days go,” Lehtonen said. “I need to feel comfortable and be able to practice well at least one time before I can jump back into game action. It’s definitely a goal for me to do everything right and go on Saturday, but we’ll see how it goes.”

Rome, Mueller to Texas Stars

The Stars activated defenseman Aaron Rome from injured non-roster and assigned him to the Texas Stars on a conditioning assignment. The move will allow Rome, who has been recovering from hip surgery, to get in some game action.

Center Chris Mueller cleared waivers and was assigned to the Texas Stars as well on Monday.

Stars will look to bounce back versus Avalanche

The Stars will try to bounce back from Saturday’s 5-1 loss at Minnesota when they take on the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday in Denver. The Avalanche are off to a hot start this season, winning their first five games.

Despite Saturday’s struggles against the Wild, Stars coach Lindy Ruff didn’t make any adjustments to his forward lines or defense pairings in Monday’s practice session in Colorado.

“I just want to show some patience,” Ruff said. “It’s easy to try to blow it up after one or two games. We’re sitting there at 2-2 and to a man everybody knows they didn’t play well. I think to a man everybody wants a second opportunity to make amends for what happened.”

Stars practice lineup

Jamie Benn-Tyler Seguin-Rich Peverley
Ray Whitney
-Cody Eakin-Alex Chiasson
Antoine Roussel
-Shawn Horcoff-Erik Cole
Ryan Garbutt
-Vernon-Fiddler-Valeri Nichushkin
Lane MacDermid

Alex Goligoski-Sergei Gonchar
Brenden Dillon
-Stephane Robidas
Trevor Daley
-Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton

Dan Ellis
Jack Campbell

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.

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